Hot-Shooting UNI Knocks Off In-State Rival Drake, 69-53
Maybe UNI should wear black uniforms at home all the time. On a black-out night at the McLeod Center, the Panthers blistered the nets with 64 percent shooting in a 69-53 victory over in-state rival Drake Saturday night (February 7, 2015).
Three players scored in double-figures for the Panthers (22-2, 11-1 MVC), led by Seth Tuttle's 16 points.
Matt Bohannon added 14 points and Paul Jesperson tallied 12.
Bohannon never missed a shot, going 4-for-4 from the floor and 5-for-5 from behind the arc. Jesperson also had a good night shooting the ball, going 4-for-5 from the floor and three-point range.
The 14th-ranked Panthers took control of the game shortly after the opening tip and controlled the opening 20 minutes with torrid shooting.
UNI scored 11-consecutive points after Drake (7-17, 4-8 MVC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Karl Madison's basket nearly a minute into the game. It's the only time the Bulldogs led the entire night. The Panthers' flurry of points included three pointers by Bohannon, Tuttle and Jesperson.
After Drake cut the margin to 14-9 on a Jacob Enevold lay-up at the 12:33 mark, UNI outscored the Bulldogs 15-4 over the next eight minutes. Jeremy Morgan's jumper with 4:54 left in the half completed the run, putting the Panthers ahead 29-13.
The Panthers owned a 36-20 halftime lead after shooting 62 percent (13 of 21) in the first half.
Drake found some offensive success after intermission. The Bulldogs scored 22 points the first 10-1/2 minutes of the second half, cutting the deficit to nine at 51-42 with 9:25 remaining. But, that's as close as Drake would get.
UNI put the game out of reach with a 9-0 run. Consecutive three-pointers by Jesperson, Nate Buss and Jesperson gave the Panthers their largest lead at 18 points (62-44) and the margin never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.
The torrid shooting continued in the second half for UNI. The Panthers shot 67 percent (12 -18) from the floor the final 20 minutes, finishing the game 25-of-39 (64.1%).
The victory was UNI's 15th-straight at home dating back to last season and extended the team's overall winning streak to 11 games this season.
Next up: The Panthers host Illinois State at 7 p.m. Wednesday.